The MLS season is fast approaching, but first there is CONCACAF Champions League business to attend to.
Toronto FC began their journey in Panama, where they played the opening leg of their round of 16 tie against against Independiente de la Chorrera at the Estadio Agustin Sanchez.
Greg Vanney’s side were confident of another deep run in this years CCL after suffering the agonising loss on penalty kicks to Mexican side Guadalajara in last years final.
TFC are now without Sebastian Giovinco who was named best player of last year’s CCL and Victor Vazquez, while US star Jozy Altidore was out with a foot injury.
The first ever meeting between Independiente and Toronto FC was kicked into action by Independiente midfielder Armando Ayarza who opened the scoring in the 9th minute.
The Reds were awarded a penalty after Ciman was taken down in the area but Terrence Boyd skied his shot over the bar and TFC headed into the second half trailing by one.
At the start of the second period Independiente struck again through Omar Ezequiel, who gave his side a two goal lead.
Shortly after Independiente scored again with Ivey Belgrave, who has five goals in the 2018-2019 season so far, adding his name to the scoresheet.
TFC tried a changing things up with their subs, but not long after they made their third change, with Jay Chapman coming on for draft pick Griffin Dorsey, Independiente found another opening and Belgrave scored his second. The goal gave his team a four goal lead and himself a brace, and it now looks like there is no way back for Toronto.
Panamanian side Independiente demolishes Toronto FC, 4-0, in the first leg of their CCL Round of 16 match. I didn’t have TFC doing much this CCL, but THAT was utterly embarrassing by the returning CCL finalists. Credit to the Panamanians, jumped all over TFC and never let up.
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) February 20, 2019
It was the worst start to 2019 thy could have imagined. The performance Vanney’s side put up Tuesday night showed it’s not just the defence that is a problem, but also the offence which lacked the spark to get The Reds going.
They had many attacks which led to nothing, and had a total of seven shots but none were on target. Mistakes cost them in what was a horrible CCL opener.
As the fans blame the management for the departure of Giovinco, said management are looking for new signings. The Reds will be back in action next Tuesday at BMO Field, facing a 4-0 deficit.
The Reds will have to press extremely hard if they want to have a chance in salvaging their CCL campaign this season.
Shots: TFC 7; CAI 14
Shots on target: TFC 0; CAI 5
Possession: TFC 70%; CAI 30%
Fouls: TFC 14; CAI 9